Slow internet can be deeply frustrating, whether it be the constant buffering symbol or the slow page load speed, people often believe it all to be the fault of their Internet Service Provider (ISP). While this is often true, sometimes it can be the computer settings, wireless hardware and even the age of the PC slowing the connection down. Here are our top tips to get you back up to speed…
Test your speed
Before trying any of these tips, test your internet speed. This is the only way to be sure of exactly what speed you’re receiving and how much difference there is between that and what the ISP predicts. There are many different speed checkers online but speedtest.net powered by OOKLA is one of the very best.
Secure your Wi-Fi
If your Wi-Fi is not password protected or only uses the default settings, it should be changed – if you’re using the standard password provided by your ISP there’s a danger unauthorised users are piggy backing off your Wi-Fi without consent and slowing your own internet connection down as a result. Take a look at our blog on changing a network password and name for a step-by-step guide.
Move the router
Wi-Fi is prone to interference which can weaken the signal and slow the internet down. Many common household items can cause interference including doors and even baby monitors. Try putting your router in a central location like the stairs – but don’t put it in a cupboard because that will further degrade the signal.
Clean up your computer
Many programs on your computer could be using the internet without your knowledge. Updates, virus scans, pop-ups, chat applications and even open websites can all take up bandwidth, leaving you struggling to browse the web or stream a movie. Enter the control panel and close any applications which are not being used. Delete your browsing history too because this can also have a detrimental effect.
Range extenders / powerline adapters
Powerline adapters and range extenders both do the same job in that they extend the network. Range extenders strengthen Wi-Fi signal, while powerline adapters use the electricity power lines in your home to boost signal. If some rooms suffer from weak signal, then either one of these two options could help speed up the Wi-Fi connection.
If your internet refuses to pick up the pace, then it is almost certainly a fault on the ISP’s end. Call customer service to complain but if the problem persists you may want to think about switching services. If they aren’t giving you the speeds offered, switching can be carried out at no extra cost. Take a look at our guide to switching deals.